Saskatoon personal college teacher beneath investigation for allegations of inappropriate feedback

The program coordinator and instructor for a private vocational school in Saskatoon is under scrutiny after allegations of racism and inappropriate comments were made in a classroom in early September.

Maureen Ledoux, a student of the Academy of Fashion Design at the time of the incident, said on Sept. 9, the instructor was teaching a lesson about sewing when she made startling comments.

“There was like six or seven of us students with her. Nobody was saying anything. It was super quiet. We were all listening to her talk about sewing. All of a sudden, she mentioned the James Smith killer. His name. His first and last name, Myles Sanderson, for no reason,” Ledoux told Global News.

“We weren’t talking about anything to do with that massacre. She just said out of the blue,” she added.

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Ledoux, who identifies as Indigenous, said after those remarks, the teacher dismissed the students for the day.

She alleges the instructor then directed a comment towards her.

“She put her head down again. And then she looked right across at me and she told me, ‘go out and stab someone now,’” Ledoux said.

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The next week, Ledoux filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and the Ministry of Advanced Education.

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“The Ministry of Advanced Education is aware of this situation,” a spokesperson said via a statement.

“We expect all of our post-secondary institutions to provide environments that are safe, welcoming and inclusive for students. Since this was brought to our attention, we have been in discussions with both parties and continue to actively work to help them find an acceptable resolution,” the statement read.

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A letter sent back to Ledoux, obtained by Global News, reads in part, “The operator acknowledged that her comment may have been insensitive and offered to meet with you to resolve the matter, which you subsequently declined.”

The letter went on to say that the Ministry encouraged the instructor to write a letter of apology and take cultural sensitivity training.

Global News also reached out to the Saskatoon Tribal Council.

“We cannot comment at this time as we only have one side of the story. STC is still investigating,” their spokesperson said.

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Ledoux enrolled in the Academy of Fashion Design’s Indigenous cultural sewing program in an effort to be more connected to her own culture.

She said she has a goal of creating traditional dresses. However, Ledoux said she has not returned to the school since the incident.

Global News connected with the instructor and program coordinator of the school but a request for comment was declined.

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